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Warwick, MC swimmers ready to begin the post-season at Leagues
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
For local swimmers who haven’t yet qualified for the PIAA District Three Swimming Championships, they have one more chance.
Their final opportunity will be this week at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Meet which is being held at the Lititz recCenter. The girls will swim Thursday, with the boys to follow on Friday. Both sessions start at 7 p.m.
"It’s the last chance to get a good seed or even to perhaps qualify for Districts because then District entries are due in a week or two," Warwick coach Mark Daum said. "Just from going on and taking the next step, it’s sorta like a playoff thing. I mean, some of the kids have made it on automatic times, but some of the kids are right on the bubble. So just by that fact alone, they want to do well."
The Manheim Central girls, meanwhile, have bumped up from Double-A to Triple-A this winter, which means a bigger challenge to reach the District qualifying times.
"The times are little bit tougher to get into (Districts) this year, so we’ll see," Manheim Central coach Heather Fittery said. "But we’re just hoping for them to do their best times and they’ve been working hard."
Oh yeah, there’s also the matter of competing for team bragging rights and some L-L hardware. Warwick is coming off a regular season in which the boys tied for the Section One crown with a 5-1 league record, while the girls placed third with a 4-2 mark. Daum believes both are capable of a top-three finish at the League Championships.
"On both sides, top three is a realistic expectation," Daum said. "Yeah, the boys finished in a three-way tie for the Section championship, but when you go to these kinds of meets, you’re looking at the star power, so to speak, and the depth. With the boys, we’re probably still a little thin on depth."
Both Warwick and Manheim Central have returning swimmers who will be hoping to defend their 2012 L-L championships.
On the boys side, Warwick junior Nick Beard touched the wall first in the 100 breaststroke last year in 1:02.41 and he is seeded first in that event going into Friday’s action in a time of 1:02.21. The Warriors’ junior also holds the number two seed in the 200 I.M. in 2:03.56.
Turning to the girls, Warwick senior Emily Cameron is the defending champ in the 200 free in an L-L League Meet record time of 1:52.81 and the 100 back (58.57). She has the inside track to defend her title in the 100 back with a top-seeded time of 58.75 seconds, and she is replacing the 200 free this year with the 50 free, in which she is seeded second in 24.26 seconds just a whisker behind E-town’s Theresa Hayward (24.16).
Warwick senior Maddie Schouten, who came from the eighth-seeded spot in the 100 breaststroke last year to win gold in 1:09.35, will be trying to reclaim her title as the number two seed in 1:10.56.
Schouten is also a member of the Lady Warriors’ 200 medley relay with Cameron, Brianna Olivieri and Morgan Haney that is top-ranked in 1:52.91 going into this Thursday’s action. Warwick is the defending champ in that event, with Cameron, Haney, Schouten and Tara Freeman having won that event last year in league, meet and school record time of 1:50.24.
Haney, meanwhile, could also be in position to claim some individual gold this year, having earned the top ranking in the 100 free (53.54)
"Emily is Emily, we all know what the last three years have brought with her," Daum said. "But you’ve got Morgan Haney now who is a factor in the 100 free, Maddie’s the defending champion in the 100 breast, Nick is the defending champion in the 100 breast, the girls medley is the defending champ, so gold is realistic with a number of them."
Overall, the top six finishers in each event will win a medal. Other top six seeds for the Warwick girls include senior Emily Griest in the 200 free (5th in 2:10.26) and 500 free (6th in 5:23.75), the 200 free relay (5th in 1:48.00) and the 400 free relay (4th in 3:47.27).
Turning to the Warwick boys, junior Justin Mitchell is ranked third in a pair of individual events — the 200 free (1:48.29) and 500 free (4:53.37). All three of the Warriors’ relays are also seeded number three, with the 200 medley clocking in at 1:44.83, the 200 free at 1:32.56 and 400 free at 3:22.22.
Junior Jonathan Zartman is 5th in both the 200 free (1:50.94) and 500 free (5:05.13), senior Ryan Mitchell is 6th in the 50 free (23.06) and 100 free (50.01) and sophomore Jack Lance has the 6th seed in the 100 backstroke in 58.82 seconds.
Turning to Manheim Central, senior Paige Daniel is ranked third in the 500 free in 5:20.41 and fourth in the 200 free in a time of 1:58.46. Last year, the Lady Barons’ star took home gold in the 200 I.M. in 2:09.35 and 500 free in 5:11.59, but Daniel has replaced the 200 I.M. with the 200 free at this year’s championships.
"She didn’t feel her I.M. was feeling quite as it was last year, so she wanted to go for the 200 free," Fittery said. "I think she should do fairly well."
Indeed, Manheim Central’s coach expects Daniel’s times to drop in both of her individual events. Last year, Daniel’s gold-medal winning performance in the 500 free (5:11.59) was nearly nine seconds faster than her current seed time in that event.
"It should be a big drop for her with times," Fittery remarked. "She’s one that doesn’t seem to push it in the beginning of the season and now here in the last couple meets, we’re seeing her times start to drop. That seems to be more typical for her that she pretty much drops when it’s needed the most. She will have some good competition and I think that will help her."
Daniel will also compete with sophomore Brigette Fittery, freshman Paetyn Zeamer and senior Rachel Lapp on the sixth-seeded 400 free relay (3:56.00) and the seventh-seeded 200 medley relay (2:00.00). The District qualifying time is 3:41.00 in the former and 1:52.00 in the latter.
On the boys side, freshman Matt Daniel is ranked sixth in the 500 free in a time of 5:05.21. The Central boys still compete in the Double-A classification and Daniel He will be looking to improve his District qualifying time in that event.
"(Our goals) are the same with him — hopefully just get into the medals and do a good time," Fittery said. More SWIMMERS, page B-4